NEW YORK CITY — Today marks the 16th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks. The commemoration in NYC began with a moment of silence at tolling bells at 8:46 A.M., when the first terrorist-piloted plane slammed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower.
The victims’ relatives again began reading the names of the nearly three thousand people killed when four hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field.
Among those who read out names at the solemn ceremony are a cousin of victims Maria Theresa Santillan and Judy Hazel Fernandez, and the niece of victim Jayceryll M. Dechavez.
Judy Fernandez was 27-years-old and was working as a benefits specialist for Cantor Fitzgerald on the top floor of the WTC. She was the one who helped her cousin Maria Theresa Santillan, also just 27, get her a job at Espeed as a customer service representative.
“And my cousins and dear friends, Judy Hazel Santillan Fernandez and Maria Theresa Santillan, knowing you’re together warms my heart every day. We all miss you very much and will forever be in our thoughts and our prayers.”
Jayceryll de Chavez also worked in the twin towers and was only 24-years-old.
“I never met you but truly deep down in my heart, I truly love you. I heard many great stories about you and I always think what life would be with you. If you were here, life would be perfect but even without you, we love you with all our heart. Mahal na mahal kita.”
Twenty Filipinos were killed in the attacks including two who were on board United Airlines flight 193 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
President Donald Trump observed a moment of silence at the White House and spoke at a memorial at the Pentagon.
“America does not bend, we do not waiver, and we will never ever yield. So here at this memorial, with hearts both sad and determined, we honor every hero who keeps us safe and free. And we pledge to work together, to fight togehter, to overcome together, every enemy and every obstacle that’s in our path.”